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climate change

How to feed 11 billion people: Addressing the 21st century's biggest challenge

Feeding the world in the future, as global populations reach upward of 11 billion in the next century, is likely to be a Herculean task. But researchers are working on how to address the issue from the skies down to the fields.

18 Jan 2016

Chinese cave art reveals record of climate change

In times of drought, Dayu Cave in the Qinling Mountains of central China has remained a reliable source of water, and since at least the 16th century, thirsty visitors to the cave recorded their pilgrimages on the walls. Now the graffiti — rendered in black pigment on the yellow cave walls — is providing scientists with a unique record of how climate change affected nearby communities between 1520 and 1920. 
 
13 Dec 2015

Counting 'tree' rings in fish skulls provides climate clues

Most fish have little structures in their skulls that record growth patterns — periods of feast and famine — just like tree rings. Now, scientists are using these structures, called otoliths, to show how fish size may decrease as a result of a changing ocean. 

16 Jun 2015

More warming may mean more lightning

Add more lightning to the list of predicted effects of climate change. A recent study in Science forecasts a significant increase in the number of lightning strikes within the continental United States over the next century.

 
13 May 2015

One-two punch of past warming may hold lessons

Geologists are fond of the saying, “The past is key to the future.” Unfortunately, the past has been a poor guide when it comes to understanding modern climate change. Now, however, a new study suggests that one episode — a spike in global temperatures that occurred about 55 million years ago — may be a better analog than previously thought, and could yield insights into the planet’s future.

 
09 Apr 2015

Coastal cities will see regular flooding

Rising sea levels will likely lead to regular flooding in most coastal cities in the future, according to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report, which used tide-gauge records to chart annual flood rates, showed that these rates have increased substantially in the past 50 years and projected that a majority of U.S. coastal areas will likely experience 30 or more days of flooding each year by 2050.

 
03 Apr 2015

Pentagon report calls for military to prepare for climate change

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is charged with ensuring national security against threats, both domestic and foreign. Now the Pentagon has released a report detailing its strategy against a developing foe: climate change. The 20-page “Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap” outlines actions the military can take to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, both at home and internationally.

 
08 Feb 2015

Down to Earth With: Ecologist Chris Field

Last summer, the American Geophysical Union honored Chris Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, with its annual Roger Revelle Award, which recognizes “outstanding contributions in atmospheric sciences, atmosphere-ocean coupling, atmosphere-land coupling, biogeochemical cycles, climate or related aspects of the Earth system.”

 
22 Dec 2014

Link between volcanoes and drought cools geoengineering prospects

The realization that large volcanic eruptions can trigger climatic cooling has inspired some to call for stratospheric geoengineering projects, which mimic volcanic eruptions, to combat the effects of global warming. But the approach is not without risks. And a new study looking at the effects of volcanic eruptions on monsoon cycles in China over the past 700 years elucidates one: Eruptions can also cause profound drought in some regions. The finding suggests that although artificially induced cooling may have benefits in some places, it could backfire in others.

14 Dec 2014

Pliocene tropical oceans were warmer after all

Scientists may have overturned the idea that Earth’s tropical oceans were the same temperature during the Early to Middle Pliocene — between about 5 million and 3 million years ago — as they are today, despite the world being a far warmer place then.

12 Dec 2014

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